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Live Free or Die

Going home up north just isn’t the same anymore

I live in San Jose, so when people started packing themselves into cars for the six-hour drive to the Weekender, I had a bona fide excuse to go home and hang out.Last year, I took any excuse as a reason to fly home. The fact that Southwest would fly me for $29 was a good incentive to just pack up for the weekend and head home. I was attached emotionally and personally to the place. I could go there and be with my friends, my girlfriend and my family all at the same time. Heck, I could even work and grab a couple extra bucks for the return to school.

So I’m really psyched; I drove up I-5 in the middle of the night with my fraternity brother, who went to my high school (even though I never met him prior to coming to USC), so we could be primed and ready to enjoy San Jose. When we stopped just outside of the nation’s 10th largest city, we took in big lungfuls of air.

Ahhh, climate, we thought, something southern California doesn’t have.

But as the weekend progressed, I realized that San Jose simply isn’t my place any more. I guess the old adage is true: You can’t go home again.

My friends aren’t in San Jose any more. Jeff moved to San Francisco (finally) to attend college. Doug is at UC Santa Barbara. Lance isn’t my friend now because of meaningless arguments over the summer. Jaclyn, Doug’s sister, remains, but how much fun can you have with just one person?

In contrast, I have many friends in Los Angeles I look forward to seeing on a daily basis. I live at my fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, and it’s great. I love living there.

I can’t work at House of Bagels. I was fired from there in June despite having been a loyal worker for two years. The backstabbing and unfriendly atmosphere, coupled with the fact that the job sucked, was enough for me. I have no regrets about not working there any more.

If you consider the Daily Trojan work, well, that’s where I go. It’s zany and offbeat–everything the bagel shack wasn’t. Since I get a stiped check, I have to consider it a job.

Plain and simple, I’ve changed a lot. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve matured over the past year and a half to the point where I don’t need the umbilical cord of home to keep me going. I’m a self-subsisting person in Los Angeles, and I like it.

Hell, I’m a big advocate of San Jose. It’s a great place to live. But for me now, it’s only a great place to visit occasionally.

What made me realize all this? I was watching my brother play on his high school football team, when in passing conversation, I mentioned I was from Los Angeles. Not San Jose.

It’s just a part of life, detaching yourself from your childhood home, but I’m sad about it just the same.